Another Drought? Well, Maybe
Three months ago, the same map showed a large swath of the middle part of the state was clear of drought.
The good news is Oklahoma is heading into its rainy part of the year, said Gary McManus, state climatologist for the Oklahoma Mesonet.
The less good news is it is difficult to predict just how much moisture might be on the way.
“We’ve sort of set the stage if we don’t get normal to above normal rainfall, we could end up being in a bit of trouble, especially with the predictions from the Climate Prediction Center of warmer-than-normal weather over the next few months, at least increased odds of above-normal temperatures come into play.” Above-normal temperatures open the door to intensifying drought conditions, which means if that prediction proves accurate, Oklahoma will need even more rainfall.
A National Weather Service Fact Sheet describes drought as a deficiency in precipitation over an extended period of time, usually a season or more.
You’re already starting to see the impacts before you’re getting the notifications that something going on,” McManus said.
Do we need watering restrictions in place earlier?
If drought does visit the state once again, no worries.
“It’s things like that with everybody working together that helps conserve water.” For more information about drought and strategies and tips for managing this weather hazard, contact the county Extension office, visit the Oklahoma Mesonet (www.mesonet.org), check Oklahoma Water Resources Center at Oklahoma State University (www.water.okstate.edu) and connect with the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov).